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Thread: SHBs and Light

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Default SHBs and Light

    If SHBs dislike light (aka SBBs) why not insert a small LED light on the inner cover? It is true that bees prefer dark but they will accept a lighted colony. I have seen exposed comb following storm damage where the bees were stilll prefectly happy. Maybe a translusient cover?
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  2. #2
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    Jun 2012
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    waynesboro, virginia
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    I have a Lexan cover on my hive - 1/4" thick - and then a spacer section with the telescoping cover on that. I know that light comes in around the Lexan - and when I take off the outer cover and look in thru the lexan I can almost always see a SHB or two hiding between the end of the frame tab and the box - there is about a 1/16-1/8" gap there and the bees can't quite get at the SHB's that hide there. My bees do propolize up the gaps (they may have entombed some SHB's too

    Bottom line is that the SHB may prefer dark, but I don't think the light bothers them enough to keep them away...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    SHB and moths are nocturnal fliers.
    I build a solar powered LED light that comes on at dusk and shines all night. I mount it on the outside of the box, above the entrance hole. It is still in the testing stage and I need to work on the dependability a little before I offer it for public sale. You can build your own of course.
    Regards
    Joe

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Is the light supposed to keep the beetles away? Beetles might be nocturnal flyers but they fly in the daytime, too, I don't think light will be a deterrence to them. Have you tried one of those $2 solar powered garden lights work for your experiment? Seems they're a ready-built cheap light that could be hacked pretty easily.

    Ed

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Ed,
    According to Wikipedia the WM and the SHB fly only at and/or after dusk.
    I have opened a hive and seen them run from the light. So it is my opinion that they do not normally fly during the day. It is logical then to assume that they would not fly into a patch of light that was centered on a hive entrance.
    I cannot find a $2 light. I did find a $12 light that could be modified. It lasted two weeks and is on my bench undergoing a Post Mortum.
    Regards
    Joe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Dunlap, TN, USA
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    I'm having a really hard time imagining this light working to prevent the beetles and especially moths. I'm sure everyone has heard the phrase "Like a moth to the flame".

    I'm just thinking this light would have the exact opposite effects of what you are hoping for. I'm sure FL isn't that much different from TN and I know I've got about a billion moths flying around my porch light at night. I'm thinking a light on your hive would attract more nocturnal insects than it would repel. Have you read any info on this theory before or is this just an idea you came up with on your own? If for some reason it did actually work it would be a very inexpensive way to help against these two pests.... for the time being I'm just not thinking this will work.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012
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    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    JYawn
    http://www.extension.org/pages/63188...ive-beetle-ipm
    This is the link to a book on the SHB at Clemson U. It tells about the flying habits of the SHB. I did not make this stuff up.
    Joe

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    From Page #2...."Beetles fly before or after dusk and males have been reported to fly earlier than females." Hmm, I think someone should have done some better wording of that sentence...seems to say that the only time they flight is *at* dusk.

    Seriously, though, I have my doubts about the lighted entrance repelling shb and wax moth...maybe even attract moths at night, as mentioned priviously. It will be interesting to see how your experiment turns out...I would love to see you have success!!!

    I've got some of those $2 lights (might have been $1.50 or might have been $2.50...I'm actually thinking $1.50). I've got four or five of these lights and they've been out in the weather since last winter...still burning good. It's really a good deal for two rechargeable AA batteries, a small pv panel, and led lighting. Check out the garden center at Wallyworld, I bet you find them there. Here's what the one's I got look like...except mine are silver....
    0075623375060_180X180.jpg

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  9. #9
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    ED
    It is a pleasure to have a difference of opinion with someone that can converse without using garbage language. Thanks.
    Joe

  10. #10
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    Dec 2011
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    Dunlap, TN, USA
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    I have a few of these inexpensive LED solar lights also. Got mine at walmart last year. I was thinking those would be a good source of light to use if this experiment does work.

    Let us know how it all turns out for you Joe.

  11. #11
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Light during the day and light during the night mean very different things to insects and also depends on what they're doing. During flights, they use light to navigate so if you like putting a big beacon on your hives have at it. In my opinion, you're just giving them an additional visual guide to help them find your hive other than scenting it. They're going to pick up the scent and then see the light and use that to home in right on the exact position.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Joe, I may disagree with you on the light working with the pests but you are the one doing the experiment so I figure constructive conversation (and maybe criticism ) is what I should do. What you're doing isn't going to take food out of my grandbabies mouths', keep medical attention from being given grandma, or take the roof off of my house...so no heated arguing about it and it just *might* help with shb.

    If I remember correctly (without going out back and looking) the light fixture and battery pack are housed beneath the upper "roof" of the light I pictured...the pv panel is directly attached to the LED thus cutting down wiring losses....the "pole" that goes into the ground is removable. A simple "L" bracket could be attached to the top and attached to the hive above the entrance.

    Did you try the light that died on a hive? I'm curious as to how the bees responded to it at night. It almost seems that the light wouldn't need to shine onto the hive but rather outward to blind/repel/ confuse the beetles. Shining it on the hive would simply be illuminating the hive, with the thought that it's the light that will repel them wouldn't it need to shine outward into their eyes? Maybe a strip of wide angle LEDs running above the entrance? I would also think that bottomboards would have to be solid or either of smaller mesh size than #8.

    In thinking about those garden lights attracting bugs, I really don't recall a lot of bugs around them. I'll try to think and check them for bugs in the next night or two (catchphrase being "try to think" ).

    I've still got my doubts, though.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  13. #13
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    <snip>They're going to pick up the scent and then see the light and use that to home in right on the exact position.
    Lights do attract *all* kinds of bugs. LEDs seem to draw them as badly incandescent or florescent, though. We do know that bees are attracted to (white) light...porch lights, security lights, light shining through windows, etc.,. I think, though, that I would be concerned with attracting wax moth.

    How the bees respond to constant light would be interesting to know. I have to wonder whether constant lighting at night would foul up their day/night cycle...to anthropomorphize a moment could it be comparable to human sleep deprivation? I would think some of the urban beeks have some hives that are constantly in some type of light...???

    I wonder if different colored LED's would have different responses to different insects. Red lights are used at night to work bees because they can't "see" the red light....could the beetles?...the moths? Kind of a cheap, interesting experiment.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  14. #14
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    Feb 2012
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    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
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    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    I had a three LED linear array mounted about 5" above the entrance and shinning downward across the entrance hole. It did not shine into the box. This is on the end of a TBH that had #8 hardware cloth for a bottom screen. Next time I will use window screen as beetles can go through #8.
    The hive did not have any moths in it when I got to look at it about two weeks after the last inspection. It was still healthy a week later when the light went out. A week later it was dead and full of beetles. The traps I had in there were full of beetles.
    It is to early and I do not have enough information to make a determination on how effective the light might be. It is possible that the light attracted the beetles and they went in through the bottom screen.
    My original intention was to respond to John and discus the merits of using lights.
    Joe

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    waynesboro, virginia
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    14

    Default Re: SHBs and Light

    Just an add on to this thread:

    I was working around one of my hives as the sun was setting the other day and I noticed a number of clumsy looking small bugs flying around the hive (maybe 15-20 of them) - When one landed and walked into the hive I saw immediately that it was a SHB - I walked up to the hive and was able to clap and kill a few of the remaining ones that were flying around the hive.

    Bottom line in my view is that it was still light out and the beetles were flying and going into the hive - Not sure that light at the entrance of hive makes too much difference.

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